The compact truck craze is here, and we’re pumped! The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are epic options to consider. The Ram Dakota and Chevy Montana could be on the way too. But what about the Kia Sportage? The Kia Sportage could make an excellent tiny truck.
What if the Kia Sportage turned into a truck?
According to autoevolution, Kia is getting in on the compact truck fame. Australian Cheif Operation Officer Damian Meredith spilled the beans. He shared that Kia will offer single and dual cab options along with gasoline and turbo diesel powertrains.
Kia hasn’t confirmed this information, but it has our imaginations running wild. The Kia Sportage truck would be the main rival to the Toyota Hilux and more off-roading capable Ford Ranger.
The Hilux and turbo diesel Ford Ranger aren’t offered in the United States because they fail to meet emission standards. But we hope the Sportage truck will be offered over here. Another option like the Hyundai Santa Cruz might help Hyundai and Kia compete against the affordable Ford Maverick.
What would the Sportage truck be like?
The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride are cousins. So, it’s not too crazy to imagine that the Kia Sportage truck could be cousins with the Hyundai Santa Cruz. They could share the same platform and powertrain options.
With the Santa Cruz, you get a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. The Santa Cruz is a unibody truck that can tow between 3,500 to 5,000 lbs with a payload capacity of 1,700 lbs.
We can only speculate now, but the Kia truck would probably have a similar amount of power. It could also make its debut with a hybrid powertrain option to rival the Maverick’s 40 mpg.
The Santa Cruz is currently being manufactured in Alabama. The Kia Sportage truck could be produced in West Point, Georgia, where the K5, Sorento, and Telluride are built. This would help Kia avoid the chicken tax involved with importing vehicles.
What about the Kia Telluride truck?
Americans love trucks of all shapes and sizes. For a while, rumors were floating around about a larger Kia Telluride truck. Unlike the Kia Sorento, the Telluride truck will be a midsize option to compete against the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma.
The make things even more interesting, Kia has reportedly confirmed that there will be a Kia truck for 2022. We just don’t know if it will be the Telluride or the Sportage. But the Telluride wouldn’t be difficult to turn into a truck.
It would most likely use the same 3.8-liter engine with 292 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. But the Telluride can only tow up to 5,000 lbs, like the smaller Santa Cruz, so we hope it gains a little more muscle in truck form.
A Kia truck is coming. We just don’t know its size. It will probably have a new name too. In other countries, the Kia Mohave is a pretty attractive, luxurious, and capable off-roading SUV. It would make sense to borrow that name for an American truck.